How to Beat the Birthday Alternative

Getting ready to start another 365 fresh days, looking back on birthdays of yesteryear has been bittersweet. I’ve lost (and found!) the “celebrate everyday” mantra that I was so used to pre-Rapegate, coupled with the loss of relationships, deaths and general life changes that have been no control of mine.


However, peering back over my shoulder now, there are extremely important lessons that I adhere to even today, as I prepare to celebrate another year of fabulous fun.

Huff. Puff. and Blow.

Huff. Puff. Blow.

Still at it.

Thank God I have candle blowing help now.

1) Always take a peek in a mirror before a photo is snapped, forever capturing the loveliness of you on your special day or you may end up with something like this….

My most gorgeous birthday photo ever.

Hello Gorgeous.

Relax already.

Seriously. Stare in the mirror and give a rat’s ass or you’ll be gazing at your lovely self in something as beautiful as a crocheted vest for years to come.

Crochet nightmare

Fashion at its finest accessorized with wispy bangs.


Own advice not taken. Clearly.

2) Upon receiving presents, always act like you’ve just received the Even if you have no clue what it is or have no intention of ever wearing/using/displaying/eating/drinking.

Always act surprised.

Holy shit! I love it! No, truly I do.

3) Hold up fingers to commemorate which age you were celebrating, as these photos will end up in albums and you won’t always remember what outfit you wore which year (side note: how hilarious is it that I have a shirt on that says First Mate, First Mate?).


I’m this many today.

Even if you’re not quite sure how old you are, own whatever you are saying which will demand more attention on you.


If I say I’m two and a half, I AM TWO AND A HALF, ya dig?

When you’re out of fingers on both hands, just count drinks.

Three times….infinity?

4) Cake matters. Choose your design wisely.


Everyone wants a piece of Scooby.

Then insist someone hand feed it to you.

Keepin' it classy. As usual.

Keepin’ it classy. As usual.

Just be careful if your cake starts on fire due to the copious amount of candles.

5) Practice your ‘birthday face’ so you can look adorable in all photos.

Mug for the camera.

Oh who me? Why yes it is my birthday. I’ll just hold this pose for the rest of the day.


Adorableness fail.

Oh hi, just an adorable Mexican giddy-up for a girl who can’t keep her eyes open.

6) Be sure to have a themed party. Even if it involves you looking like an ass clown.


Send in the clowns.

Even if no one shows up, you still look like you got it going on.

7) Dance, jump and twirl to your heart’s content, acting as if you have one ounce of rhythm somewhere in your being.


Shake, rattle and rollin’ expected.


High kicks accepted.

Head banging also accepted.

Head banging also welcomed but you’ll regret it in the morning. Trust me.

8) Noisy favors are a must. Especially if party goers are under the age of six.

Blow it out.

Blow out birthday party.

It’ll wear them out and force them to be couch potatoes.

Overcrowded couch? What’s better than that?

9) Always go with the celebratory flow.

Go with the flow

Balloons in my hair? Sounds like a good birthday look.

Or at least let someone catch you when the flow gets to be too much for you to stand on your own.



10) Don’t ever turn away a birthday kiss, no matter how much you think it may hurt your face.

Scruffy faces hurt my cheek. Always low maintenance.

Always being low maintenance, scruffy faces hurt my cheek. Shave already!

Presh loves to French kiss. Don’t judge.

11) Even if you share the same birthday with a cousin (gentleman to my left in photo below with thrilled look on his face) be sure you try to be the star of the show anyhow.


Sorry. Not sorry B. Happy Birthday by the way!

12) Never, ever, ever, ever turn down a birthday shot. Ever.

Why thank you

Birthdays taste so good.

13) Enjoy the fuck out of the loved ones who surround you for celebration because you never know when it’ll be the last time.

Teddy B and me.

Crazy and Aunt Crazy Pants.

This year, I’ll be drinking to the wise words my Gma always told me as I bitched about growing another year older, “having another birthday sure beats the alternative.”

She was one smart lady.

I’ll drink to that!

No matter how hard I have to huff, puff and blow on my candles.

Cheers to your birthdays of yesteryear – as well as a year full of the happiest of birthdays for all of us and those we hold dear!




Goodbye to Gma the Great

I’ve never been one to take my family or time with them for granted, so it was real bummer when my Gma passed away a few weeks ago. Not only was she one of my best buddies, I know I inherited her brutal honesty, ornery streak and love of having my fingernails polished.

An ode to my Gma, HJ who recently passed away…


Always one to laugh at surprises…


…you took to my photobombing like it was one of your most treasured prizes.

Photo Bomb!

You never let anyone forget…


…when it was time to celebrate you bigger than the national debt.


I learned from the best…

Image 16

…how to celebrate my life full of zest.


Now seriously Gma, you taught me to party harder than Mae West.

photo 1

A love of leopard you instilled….


…which is now being passed down to the next generation, who’s thrilled.


It’s so fun you two met at a skating rink…


…even if after 44 years you still had to steal kisses quicker than an eye blink.


Although I took after Gpa avoiding kisses, rather craving a hard drink…

photo 5

…you always insisted on showing your love, making sure everyone was in sync.


Beauty sleep and a hairnet was apparently all that you needed…


…but truly it was your hair ‘dos that always succeeded.


So it was with glasses and confidence that I superseded…

photo 3

…the grace and confidence that you always heeded.


I wish I would have felt more impeded.

photo 1

The Iowa State Fair you never did love,

probably because you couldn’t wear foot gloves.

Image 12

It will never be the same, not bringing you a corn dog…

Image 42

…and discussing how I ate my way through the fair like a prize-winning hog.

Image 145

Circled blacked out dates always meant you had a companion…


…you always loved attention bigger than the Grand Canyon.


Attending every homemade Christmas pageant we made…

Image 55

…and most likely secretly prayed…


…that I would never end up a lonely old maid.

photo 1

The first to pass of five sisters, who lived out their misters,

Image 19

…you loved being pampered more than a fever blister.


Your nails were painted the day before you passed…


…and Jell-O shots without you will seem so miscast.

Image 1

Regardless of view near or afar, life will never be the same…


…without you as my shining rock star.

I love you Gma.



How to Make Your Mom Piss Her Pants

And/or throw her back out…

When I was a kid, my friend Scooby (yes, the one who was just here this weekend. Miss our shenanigans? Do yourself a favor and click here,) had a knack of hiding in my front bushes at any time of the day or night.  He’d wait for the opportune moment to pop up, pound on the windows and give my mother a heart attack (her chair sat right next to the window), therefore making her piss her pants or throw her back out (thankfully, she has a strong heart but a weak bladder after two 10 lb babies).

The master of suspense would also creep around the back of my house on a Saturday night, while I was watching movies downstairs and just stand in the light outside the double french doors and stare.  My sister and I would scream bloody murder, therefore making my mother sprint like an Olympian to the basement from her slumber.

So what better way to spend a drunken Saturday afternoon when Scooby was visiting Nashville than to perform a surprise attack on my mom? It was a no-brainer in our book.



Is that a pee face?

Is that a pee face?

Full disclosure: The pictures below are staged reenactments.  No mother was hurt during this photo shoot.


She can’t believe history is repeating itself.

Full Disclosure: A reinactment

Do you like the props we added for dramatic effect?

I’m proud to state that no bladders were emptied and all back muscles remained in tact during this scare.

Does that mean Scooby is losing his edge?


Revisiting the chest clutch.

My mom sure hopes this is true.



Weekend Winks – Scooby Style

I’ve been besties with my friend Scooby for what feels like 100 years. There is never ever a dull moment when the two of us are together (we’ve been told we’re the male/female versions of one another) and our extremely loud laughs can set off silent alarms (which really happened one time after a night at the bars).  I was thrilled when Scoobs and his hubs, Mr. Scooby spontaneously granted me with their presence this past weekend.

We started with the best intentions for a classy weekend, dining at Nashville’s Virago Friday night.


Me and my Queens.

After a relatively mild evening, Saturday promised to be more exciting. At least for me anyway, as I admired my new bathroom fixture…Mr. Scooby.

From AM...

Toast, Diet Coke and gay man candy. Be still my beating heart!

I made morning cocktails with my fabulous spatula strainer.

Fancy tools in the 90210 of Nashville

Nothing but fancy bar tools in the 90210 of Nashville.

I remembered to stay hydrated, as we proceeded to act like we were part of a marathon tailgating crew by drinking the day away (we didn’t mean to, it just happened!).

fancy cup for rehydration

Staying hydrated is almost as important as matching your glass to your outfit. Almost.

Perusing the shops of Franklin, sparkles caught my eye and I wondered if I ate enough of my skinny salad, could I squeeze into this sequined horse sweatshirt (appropriate attire for the rodeos I never attend).

Will this fit?

All of the salad in the world won’t help.

We sauntered to the Mellow Mushroom, where I politely asked Scooby for a heavy pour of wine – and did I ever get one.

A full glass from a smart ass

A full glass from a smart ass.

This required double duty slurping, which we didn’t mind.


This doesn’t suck.

Mr. and Mr. Scooby wanted to meet someone famous, so I introduced them to “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” Mr. Cardboard Dos Equis.

No, I'm not pregnant They wanted to meet someone famous. I introduced them to Mr. Dos Equis.

After much lunchtime discussion we decided that I look pregnant in this photo. I am indeed, not.

Three pizzas, two bottles of wine and four beers later, lunch was over.  What do classy ladies who lunch do after eating? Ride cannons in the town square, of course.

Cannon ball, anyone?

Cannon ball, anyone?

How to turn a gay man straight...well, maybe not.

How to turn a gay man straight…well, maybe not.

We decided it would be a good idea to go and scare my parents in the middle of the afternoon – because that’s what all vacationers want to do when they visit Nashville, right?

Perfecting our scare faces

Perfecting our fear faces.

The scare was a success and no one had a heart attack, so we had to have a drink in celebration.

Day drinking success! Acted like we were at an all day tailgate.

Day drinking scare success!

A little primping was in order before we headed out Saturday night, so I took a front seat with a Skinny Pirate.

to PM....I could get used to this.

Please take your time. All the time in the world. Please.

A trip to the South requires a taste of moonshine. Like it or not, Scooby!

Yes, do it, it won't hurt until three hours later

C’mon, do it – it won’t hurt until three hours later.

Moonshine shots lead to techno dancing with Teddy.

Teddy's version of techno dancing

Ted can’t even be bothered to put a paw up. Party pooper!

And moonshine also makes you (well, one of us anyway) hit a brick wall one hour after arriving at the bar. We thought about going home but then we had a brilliant idea! Mr. Scooby and I just strapped Scooby in the car and locked him in.

Strapped Scooby in, so he wouldn't get a back ache. Nice, huh?

All strapped up with nowhere to go…

What does any good husband and friend do after securing the drunk? We went back to the club and danced our asses off!

Scooby who?!

Scooby who?!

And have photo shoots in random attire taken from other people. I liked this hat because it reminded me of Santa Claus. Yes, Santa Claus – I have no idea why.

Do you think this cap has fleas?

Do you think this cap has fleas?

As the night went on, Mr. Scooby and I just got prettier and prettier, so we had to continue documenting with photos.


Pretty 1 and Pretty 2.

Then there was a discussion over whose chest was bigger and I lost. But I didn’t lose my shirt.

And continues...his boobs are bigger than mine. But no one asked me to take my shirt off in the gay bar. Hmm...Should I be offended?

I threw Mr. Scooby’s shirt away on purpose.

Once our photo shenanigans were over and the bar lights came on (why do they have to do that to us? I look so much better in low lighting after a certain hour of the evening!), we went out to collect our snoozing Scooby.

A little bit tied up

A little bit tied up but well rested after three hours in the car.

After we got home, the night kind of seemed like it went like this…

Oh boy...

Wait. What?

The next morning I walked into a kitchen of last night’s fun.

Is this a sign of a good time or horrible housekeeping skills?

Sign of a good time or horrible housekeeping skills?

And into the bathroom where it looks like we were trying to get rid of some of the previous evening’s fun.

One person. It wasn't me.

Two bowls, one person. Wasn’t me!

The Easter bunny was a tad late in deliveries, as we discovered treasures when we were headed out to a greasy brunch.

The beer bunny apparently visited Saturday night but did a shitty job hiding cans.

The beer bunny apparently visited Saturday night but did a shitty job hiding cans.

The bunny was so kind to already have popped holes in some of the cans so when we went to collect, we could drink immediately.

The bunny was so kind to already have popped holes in some of the cans so when we went to collect, we could drink immediately

Hair of the dog helps hangovers, right? Even warm beer?

Brunch proved to be a mighty task and the rest of our afternoon was spent recuperating.

Party Animals. In deep recovery.

Party Animals. In deep recovery.

My feet hurt from all of the dancing. My head aches from severe dehydration. My stomach still hurts from all of the laughing.

Cheers to fabulous friends!